Monday, April 02, 2012

The Club Nobody Wants to Join

On Tuesday night of last week my husband and I went to a meeting of The Compassionate Friends. They are a national organization that was formed to offer "grief support after the death of a child." It's a meeting nobody wants to have to attend, a club nobody wants to join. Through the years I had opportunities to attend various support type meetings and I went a few times but I ever really cared for them. I wasn't sure how I'd feel about attending this meeting. But I decided I'd give it a try and see how things went.

There were probably ten or twelve people there, all in various stages of grief. One couple had just marked the first year anniversary of their son's death. Another couple lost their daughter a month before our son passed away. The couple that was facilitating the group had lost their son in the early nineties. They were well informed and very good at managing the group. It was not easy being there. But I was surprised at the level of comfort I found in being with these strangers who had walked the path that we are now walking. I think we will probably both go back again next month.

Grieving is a process and one should never try to suck it up and be strong all the way through the process. I'm fortunate that I do have a decent system of support.

The butterfly photo was taken on a recent "photo walk" at Chicot State Park. I've been looking around at animal symbolism lately. Tonight I see that the butterfly is thought to be asking us to keep our faith as we undergo transitions in our lives.


  1. It's so poignant seeing how your writing is blossoming as you grieve. I love you.

  2. Aw, Cyn, you are so sweet! Thank you so much. I love you too!

  3. Cyn is right, per usual. :) I'd never heard of this group. Glad you found them and hope they will continue to be beneficial.

  4. Thanks to you too, Rach! We're going to continue to go for sure at least for a couple of meetings. At some point, I can imagine it changing from a place of receiving into a place of giving. That's part of what was good about the group, the fact that people were in various time lengths of their grief and could encourage those like us who are new in the process.

  5. <3 to you. Love the photo. You and your husband are strong and awesome to reach out for support. That's a brave thing to do.

    Lori V.C.

  6. I'm so glad you found them, though I wish so badly that you didn't have to know such a group even exists.

    I like that you're looking at animal symbolism. I think the messages help us to reframe and put labels on experiences.


  7. Thank you, D! I surprised myself when I decided I really want to go back again next month. I've enjoyed reading about animal symbolism.

  8. I agree with what Cyn said. And what you said as well. You don't suck it up... it is a process. It doesn't come with an instruction manual or script. You wing it. Like your butterfly.
    I am glad you liked the group. I have heard of them.


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